With a combined 46 points in the semifinal and title games, rising junior guard Trevon Duval of New Jersey led the Cavaliers to the NBPA Top 100 Camp team championship. Thon Maker, who led his Rockets team to the title game, named Camp MVP. Read on for more notes and highlights and make sure to check back for the official camp mix and list of standout performers.
View my NBPA Top 100 Camp Recap No. 1 | Link
View my NBPA Top 100 Camp Recap No. 2 | Link
All week at the 2015 NBPA Top 100 Camp, the talk of the camp was the dominance of the big men. Sky scrapers such as 7-foot Thon Maker of Orangeville (Canada), 6-foot-10 Edrice Adebayo of Northside (Pinetown, N.C.) and 6-foot-11 Udoka Azubuike of Potter's House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) dominated headlines and dominated in many statistical categories.
Basketball at all levels, however, has become a guard's game, so it's only fitting the camp's top overall backcourt performer, 6-foot-3 rising junior Trevon Duval from St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.), led his team to the team championship with two sensational performances on the camp's final day.
In the semifinals, Duval netted 30 points (the camp's individual single-game high mark) on 11-of-14 shooting in the Cavaliers' 90-75 win over the Wizards. Duval made both his 3-point attempts, converted all six of his free throw attempts, collected four rebounds and dished out five assists against two turnovers. In the championship game, Duval set the tone early with his gamesmanship and ability to create for teammates -- or score when necessary. Duval scored a team-high 16 points and added five rebounds and five assists in the Cav's 78-75 victory over the Maker-led Rockets.
NBPA Top 100 Camp Sat. Highlights Feat: DJ Harvey, Billy Preston Markelle Fultz & More
Duval is a prototype of the new age lead guard who is big enough and skilled enough to interchange between the point and shooting guard position and can score with regularity -- in addition to handling the duties of running a team. At the highest levels of the game, a point guard has to keep defenses honest as a scoring threat and with his strong frame and skills, Duval fits that mold perfectly.
Duval finished the camp tied for No. 10 in scoring (13.3 ppg) with teammate Markelle Fultz of DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), a 6-foot-5 rising senior. Duval led the camp in assists (4.7 apg) and was just as good at the point guard slot as he was at the two-guard. When 6-foot-1 rising junior Matt Coleman of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) was in the game, Duval slid over to the two-guard spot with no drop off.
As for Fultz, he capped off a strong week with 11 points and four assists in the championship game for the Cavs, who had to win a six-minute, play-in game early Saturday morning to advance in the championship bracket. Fultz's play in the spring and summer makes him one of the fastest-rising players in the national 2016 class. He played confidently all week and combines good athleticism with deep range on his shooting stroke.
In the semis, Fultz was one of three Cavs players to score 10 points. Six-foot-7 rising senior Mario Kegler of Arlington County Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) and 6-foot-10 rising senior Jethro Tshishumpa of Mountain Mission (Gundy, Va.) were the others to hit double figures. In the title game, Kegler and 6-foot-6 Sam Cuncliffe of Rainier Beach (Seattle) joined Duval and Fultz as double-digit scorers with 12 points each.
Maker capped off his week with game-highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds in the championship game and was named MVP of this year's NBPA Top 100 Camp. Maker, who will remain in the 2016 class and could challenge names such as Josh Jackson of Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) and Harry Giles of Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.) as its top prospect, was productive and engaged the entire week. He finished No. 2 in the camp in scoring (15.8 ppg) behind Adebayo and No. 1 in rebounding (7.9 rpg) and No. 5 in blocked shots (1.2 bpg).
Maker received plenty of defensive attention all week and his presence helped open up opportunities and scoring lanes for other players on his team. One Rockets player who particularly took advantage as the week wore on was 6-foot guard Xavier Simpson of Central Catholic (Lima, Ohio). In fact, NBPA Top 100 Camp committee member Frank Burlison of BurlisonOnBasketball.com felt Simpson was the Rockets' best player over the final six games of camp. After his 11-of 13 performance for 25 points on Thursday night, Simpson stayed hot and had standout scoring games on an efficient number of shots. He had outings of 14 points, 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting with 5 rebounds and 5 assists, 13 points, 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting in the semifinals and 15 points, 5 rebounds, and three assists in the title game.
Joining Maker, Simpson, Fultz, Duval, Adebayo, and Azubuike on the 12-man NBPA Top 100 Camp All-American team were 6-foot-8 rising senior Omari Spellman of MacDuffie School (Granby, Mass.), 6-foot-3 rising senior Frank Jackson of Lone Peak (Highland, Utah), 7-foot rising junior DeAndre Ayton of Balboa City School (San Diego, Calif.), 6-foot-3 rising senior Kyle Guy of Lawrence Central (Indianapolis), 6-foot-9 rising junior Billy Preston of Prime Prep (Dallas) and 6-foot-4 rising junior Hamidou Diallo of Woodstock Academy (Woodstock, Conn.).
Trae Young and Gary Trent Jr. Battle - See the video here - Link
Not often in a competitive setting such as the NBPA Top 100 Camp do you get two players who go at it playground style. "Battling" is usually reserved for outdoors or in a controlled setting such as the BallUp tour. Among elite high school players, they don't play outdoors as much as previous generations and usually can't sustain the crowd in a battle because they haven't developed enough playground style moves to keep it entertaining beyond a few possessions.
Still, it was highly entertaining to see guards Trae Young of Norman (Norman Okla.) and Gary Trent Jr. of Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.) go at it in a Saturday game. They didn't use a lot of trick moves, but were draining deep 3-pointers and jump shots while guarding each other, while their teammates cleared out in order for the duo to take center stage. Teammates on the bench and other campers got engaged and were supportive of the battle and Young shut it down when he nailed an off-balance jumper in front of the bench.
Although this camp was not a traditional setting for a battle, it was quite entertaining.
Here's more standouts from the NBPA Top 100 Camp that we wanted to prominently mention (listed alphabetically):
D.J. Harvey, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 6-6 SF 2017: Joined high school teammate Markelle Fultz as a standout at this camp with steady performances. Harvey used his strong frame and a variety of moves around the basket to score at an efficient pace. Harvey was No. 8 overall in points (109) and averaged 12.1 ppg. Fultz averaged 13.3 ppg.
Temple Gibbs, Seton Hall Prep (Scott Plains, N.J.) 6-4 SG 2016: One of those players who grows on you when you realize his impact on the outcome of games. Gibbs is not an elite athlete, but he knows how to use his body to finish with contact and around bigger players. He can also score in bunches. In one camp game, Gibbs converted a 4-point play and scored the game-winning lay-up.
Brandon McCoy, Morse (San Diego, Calif.) 6-11 C 2017: This rising junior started on the title-winning Cavs club and made positive strides, despite statistics that were not overwhelming. McCoy knows what he is and rarely takes a bad shot and does anything out of his element. He was battling on the boards and did a good job of being in the right spots in order for his team's scorers to excel. McCoy is a shade below the very best prospects in the national 2017 class, but is a bonafide McDonald's All-American candidate.
Billy Preston, Prime Prep (Dallas, Texas) 6-9 SF 2017: Was No. 3 overall in total points (123) and tied with Blazers teammate Frank Jackson for No. 4 in scoring (15.4 ppg). Preston continues to make strides in his overall offensive ability, but must continue to work on executing quick offensive moves because often times the ball stops once he touches it. On too many possessions, teammates stood around while he operated and it would expand his game if they played off him better. Still, there is a lot to like about his overall game and you have to love Preston's confidence. When pressed to get his opinion on whom is the top player in the 2017 class, Preston is always quick to say, "I am."